I made the decision two and a half years ago to have our family go gluten free. I have no issues myself with gluten, but my son Tristan is sensitive to it and was a different child once we took gluten out of his system. One of my hardest transitions going gluten free was bread. I love bread and I struggle staying gluten free because it is my biggest cheat. The thought of giving up French toast, sandwiches, especially grilled cheese made the bread lover inside of me cringe. When we first went gluten free I tried baking bread, but half the time it would rise and then fall or not cook enough in the center. I gave up and simply did not give my son bread. Recently, I decided to try cooking bread again, but this time not in my oven, but my crock pot.
You can make bread in your crock pot? Yes you can and once you figure it out it is not that hard. There is a science to it and I am still learning, but I am in love with cooking bread in my crock pot. Yesterday, I decided to try and make gluten free bread from scratch again and not from a box like I usually do. I had five crock pots thanks to generous neighbors who lent me theirs so I could cook more bread quicker. I made two sandwich breads and three sweet breads. I had successes and failures, but I learned a lot. I feel cooking bread in your crock pot is an awesome idea.
What I learned this go around:
Do not leave your dry ingredients out in a bowl and use the bathroom or your five year old son will “help” you out by dumping water into the bowl making you waste a batch of flours, salt, and soda. In all seriousness though here are a few tips I have to make your crock pot baking a success.
- Make sure you thoroughly grease your bread pans because all of my sweet breads stuck to their pans like a tongue to a frozen pole. I thought I greased my pans enough, but I guess you can never grease a pan enough if you want your bread to come out whole or in chunks and crumbs.
- Different crock pots cook at different temperatures and because of this you will need to watch your cook times the first couple of times you bake your bread in the crock pot. Once you figure out the time simply mix up your ingredients, put it in the crock pot, set your timer and go.
- With the bread recipes I tried yesterday I did end up putting a spoon between the lid rubber seal and the crock pot to create an air hole for the steam to leave. I did this because when I have done this before with breads from scratch they rise to quickly and then fall on me as soon as they cool.
- I always put a buffer between my pan and the bottom of the crock pot. Some crock pot bakers suggest crumpled aluminum foil, but I use canning rings placed on the bottom of the crock pot.
I believe not all bread recipes are meant for the crock pot. I have made this one particular sandwich bread three times now in my crock pot from The Baking Beauties and it always falls on me. I am not a baker so it probably is baker error on my part, but the bread is outstanding. The texture is lovely and the taste is very yummy. I may have to try it with my oven it is that good.
The other sandwich bread recipe I made is from Karina at Gluten-Free Goddess. I love her blog and the recipes she comes up with so I tried her sandwich bread recipe. This particular recipe is made for a bread machine, but it also works well for a crock pot too.
- 1½ Cups of Sorghum Flour
- 1 Cup Tapioca Starch
- ½ Cup Gluten-Free Oat Flour
- 1¼ Teaspoons Sea Salt
- 2 Teaspoons xanthan gum
- 1 Package Rapid Dry Yeast
- 1¼ Cups warm water
- 3 Tablespoons of olive oil (I used extra virgin)
- 1 Tablespoon honey or agave nectar (I used honey)
- ½ Teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 Eggs beaten
- Spray or grease for your bread pan (not the crock pot)
- Crock Pot Bread
- With the crock pot I have found you do not need to put your dry yeast in your warm water to activate it and make it froth. The crock pot creates a warm and moist environment conducive to your bread rising without any issues.
- Take all your dry ingredients and mix in a separate mixing bowl.
- If you own a stand mixer like I do put all your wet ingredients in your mixers bowl first. I do this because I always seem to have a dry spot at the bottom and center of my bowl where the dough paddle cannot reach.
- Once all the wet ingredients are whipped together add in ¼ cup of the dry ingredients at a time, stopping your mixer to use a soft spatula to get any dry flour from the sides of your bowl.
- Place crumpled tin foil or canning lids like I do on the bottom of your crock pot.
- Grease your bread pan, I use a regular sized bread pan that fit perfectly in my six quart crock pot.
- Pour your dough into the greased bread pan using your soft spatula to smooth the top and make the top even.
- Place bread pan on top of canning lids inside of your crock pot and cover with the lid.
- Add a spoon between the crock pot and rubber seal of lid to create a hole for steam to leave.
- Turn your crock pot on high and walk away. My bread took me two and three quarter hours to cook, but I recommend the first couple times you check it at the two hour mark to be safe.
- Once cooked take pan with bread out of crock pot, then take bread out of bread pan and place on wire rack to cool.
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